Dr. Fitzgerald’s clinical and research expertise is in pediatric obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety disorders. She has studied atypical development of neural circuitry devoted to "task control" -- an executive control mechanism that enables an individual to suppress irrelevant automatic behaviors such as the obsessive behaviors seen in OCD. She will discuss her research to elucidate developmentally sensitive mechanisms of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that might make it possible to target task control differently for patients of different ages. Dr. Fitzgerald is also studying a play-based cognitive training strategy designed to reduce early childhood anxiety by increasing brain capacity for cognitive control.
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